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July 26, 2004

The Autonomous Republic of Charlie Brownistan

A story yesterday in the Guardian quotes the editor of a Kurdish magazine in northern Iraq as saying:

"People are very pessimistic. Kurds felt they had friends abroad but now they don't. The US and the UK have their own interests, and we came out empty-handed."

I hate to make jokes about this, because Kurds have had, to put it mildly, a hard time of it. But...


By my count, we're now working on our sixth betrayal of the Kurds since World War I. Yet they keep coming back for more. The Kurds have really become the Charlie Brown of international relations, always believing that Lucy, in the form of the US, is finally going to let them kick the football.

Posted at July 26, 2004 04:08 PM | TrackBack

Bob Harris at sent me...

I like this 'toon, and the sentiment is accurate. But it seems to me that the Kurds, ever since they've had no-fly zone protection, have enjoyed more autonomy than at any other time in their modern history.

Yes, they're getting screwed in more ways than one now, but I think they're not going to give up that autonomy, that real power, any time soon. It will still take either a Turkish invasion or U.S. military action to force them to do ANYTHING at this point. Allawi doesn't have an army--YET.

I dunno. When does the civil war begin?


Posted by: Daddy-O at July 26, 2004 10:48 PM

The Kurds aren't really alone in this sentiment, though. For some reason, we also largely feel the same about ourselves. A definite majority of this country, for example, believed that we were going to install democracy in Iraq and everything would be fine and people would love us everywhere. That despite the fact that, in post-WWII military interventions, our record in making democracy abroad is something like 1 and 34 (and I believe that counts Colombia as a success).

Maybe there's just something about that plucky Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Happy Big Dog With The Tail That Breaks Things, Lovable Drunk Who Throws Up On Your Couch American spirit that keeps people believing. Or maybe people are just stupid.

Posted by: Ted at July 27, 2004 01:57 AM

Bob Harris at sent me.

This is a perfect cartoon, that, IMHO, clearly illustrates our repeated betrayals of the Kurds.

But you could replace "Kurds" with almost any ethnic group that the US has "helped" in our entire history.

THIS is the reason people in the Middle East want to fly passenger aircraft into large office buildings.

If only Americans understood this.

Thank you for your excellent picture-worth-ten-thousand-words.

Posted by: farnsworth at July 27, 2004 08:34 AM

Came here by way of Bob's Links and Rants. Wonderful image. I've been pissed off about the Kurds since seeing Good Kurds/Bad Kurds on Link TV.

Posted by: northsylvania at July 27, 2004 05:46 PM

OK, OK. But the Kurds want something very badly that they can't have without causing major upheaval.

They want an independent Kurdistan, spanning what is now Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. They want Kirkuk.

There's going to be a lot of unrest. Kurds are tough; they can handle the suffering and the violence. And they're promising, but let's not sanctify them. They made millions off of smuggling during the sanctions regime; Talabani and Barazani are basically mafia dons. Both of them have taken payoffs from everyone in the region at various times, including Saddam.

Posted by: praktike at July 27, 2004 06:03 PM

Oh my!
A powerful country tries to rule another country through force, buying off any locals they can with beads and false promises.

Imagine that.

Look guys, I know you want the world to join hands and sing "coom-by-ya" (phonetic).
So do I.

I know you want the world to obey the international laws that have been written since the U.N.'s creation.
So do I.

Seriously, being 100% morally against "senseless killing" does not preclude me to root for the USA's evil treacheries over any other countries evil treacheries.

At the end of the day; (both domestically and internationally speaking) I think I would rather have Uncle Sam's boot in Iraq's back than China's boot in America's back if you follow me.

Until no one is allowed to make weapons in the world, you all should try to adjust your morals like me people.`

Posted by: Captain America 101 at August 1, 2004 07:55 AM