from 13 april 2003
blue vol II, #78
Opinion Archive

On the consequences of the
US-led invasion of Iraq

from an interview with Cemil Bayik

CEMIL BAYIK is a member of KADEK Presidential Council

This is a summary of an interview with Cemil Bayik, a member of the KADEK (Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress) Presidential Council, about the probable consequences of the US led invasion of Iraq.

The main points are; the policies of the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party), the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) and Turkey, relations between Kurdish people, the situation of the people in South Kurdistan and what the attitude of KADEK (Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress) is towards recent developments.


The need to radically change and rearrange the capitalist system led to the Bush administration replacing Clinton in the White House. Military intervention in Iraq is the start of this radical change. The increasing resistance of Germany, France, and Russia is due to the fact that the engineers of the new world system are ignoring them. These forces do not want the USA and the UK deciding their role in the new world system for them. There is a similar problem in the Middle East. Turkey's reaction to the US's demands and the disquiet of the US's allies are due to the US's unilateralism in setting up and rearranging the region. The intervention in Iraq is now happening. The forces opposed to the intervention are worried about the US use of Iraq as a military, political and economic base. For those forces, it does not matter whether war happens or not. Their real concern is to prevent the US using the invasion of Iraq as a way to create another base in the Middle East. This would give the US more control of the future of the region


Germany, France and Russia's real motivations are not to preserve the Iraqi regime or out of a desire for world peace. Their motivation is the disagreement on who will have a bigger share of the new world. Germany, France, and Russia want an equal share in the new world system. If the US & UK were to accept this, the other three countries would end their opposition. But at the moment, the US and UK do not want to accept them as partners. The US will act together with the UK (although the UK faced serious challenges) in setting up the new world system against the wishes of Germany-France-Russia. The fight between these two blocs will dominate the coming years. The world is in the process of change and transformation in every direction. Military intervention on Iraq is an extreme example of this process. The multidimensional struggle between imperialist powers and oppressed social classes won't retard the replacement of the old system with a new one. World-wide resistance under the slogan of 'No to war, yes to peace' won't stop the US. Moreover, the Germany, France and Russia bloc is exploiting the world-wide peace sentiment and using it as a tool to prevent US ambitions. If the US offers them an equal stake in the future of the Middle East, they will turn their backs on the peace movement. In addition, the peace movement will have the right meaning when it serves the interests of working class, the oppressed people, especially women in bringing democracy, freedom and human rights. The aims of the peace movement should be made clear so that the restructuring process of the world will accelerate and major struggles will occur. The US should not decide everything on its own. The other major powers and particularly those who are oppressed should play a central role in setting up the new world system.


Turkey has no choice but to obey the USA since the Turkish political regime is faced with severe economic and political problems. Democratisation, the Kurdish issue and economic and social depression have weakened the Turkish regime. Without American support, everything could collapse in Turkey. As both the domestic and foreign media understood, the focus of recent discussions between the US and Turkey was US economic aid to Turkey. Turkey's attempts to win US approval for an invasion of South Kurdistan, to encourage Turcomen to migrate to Iraq, and exert influence in determining the new Iraqi regime did not achieve any results. This is why Turkey is so worried both for itself and the regimes in the region. Intervention in Iraq is a critical matter, but Turkey cannot adopt a position that will force the US to change its policy. While the US is planning to rearrange Iraq, Turkey, the KDP and the PUK want to benefit from their alliance positions. Turkey wants to act as the USA's partner and calls the relationship a 'Strategic Alliance' but the US does not pay attention to Turkey's wishes and has different plans for Iraq, which makes Turkey feel apprehensive. The KDP and the PUK want to retain unlimited power in South Kurdistan. Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq reject this idea. Turkey declared that any major concessions given to Iraqi Kurdish parties a reason for war. Turkey will not tolerate any policy which supports a federal structure in Iraq. Turkey, the KDP and PUK cannot agree on a common policy.


The US is playing a balancing role by apparently providing a compromise agreement between Turkey and the Kurdish parties but not giving much initiative to any of them. There appears to be some temporary agreement, which does not satisfy either Turkey or KDP and PUK. But Turkey, the PUK and KDP will accept whatever the US needs because they have no chance of forcing the US to serve their interests! The US will maintain control of the situation with a temporary agreement till the intervention succeeds, and then will implement it's own plans. At this stage, it is probable for the US to ignore the old alliances and make new ones. It will not be possible to have long-term agreements between US and Turkey, the US and KDP, US and PUK, or the US, KDP and PUK. The US can only partially satisfy them all. Consequently all attempts of those forces to establish forward looking, radical, detailed agreements won't succeed. A major power like the US cannot accept Turkey, KDP or PUK as equal partners as the US does not even accept Germany, France or Russia.


KADEK's priority is national and political unity in order to succeed in the fight of freedom. Having a common strategy between all Kurdish national forces on basic issues has become more urgent following the intervention in Iraq. The aim is not to use weapons. KADEK seeks developments in political and diplomatic spheres rather than military ones. The PDK and PUK are very weak on this basis. Their priorities are what is in the interest of their own organisations and not the interest of their nation and people. That is why they chose to fight instead of striving for national interests. They need international support against the threat of Turkey, so the KDP and the PUK are very flexible towards other national powers. The Turkish threat is not enough reason for alliance. A priority for the Kurdish parties must look critically at their past and then prepare themselves for alliances. Thus it is challenging to form alliances. Current conditions require common action.

Today people in South Kurdistan, mainly Hewler, are resisting military intervention, which is very significant. The US and southern parties benefited from this resistance tactically. This does not mean that the US organised all these resistance actions, but people in South Kurdistan have started to continue their previous rebellion.


Intervention in Iraq will accelerate the disintegration of the backward social structure and will remove the basis for the reckless nationalist approach of the KDP and the PUK. In the 12 post-Gulf War years, the backward social structure disintegreated significantly as a result of scientific-technical developments and the influence of political developments. Primitive nationalism has come to an end. The KDP and the PUK will have to transform themselves or they will lose their influence. The objective conditions of modern political and democratic structures are growing in South Kurdistan. Despite the attempts of the KDP and PUK, it is impossible to live in the old way, even more so after the intervention. Nowadays KDP and PUK are emphasising nationalism and democracy. Although they are still nationalists and oppressive, they call themselves democratic. This is the result of changing conditions. But words are not enough.


The US won't be satisfied with intervention in Iraq. It has plans to intervene in other countries in the region including Iran. An extension of the war is highly probable. This will have a big impact the Kurds. Turkey's participation and Iran and Syria being considered as the next targets for intervention mean that Kurdistan is at the centre of future crises in the Middle East. The complex and constantly changing environment will leave the Kurds at the centre of the war, especially if the US ignores peoples' wishes and does not accept democratic solutions. In that case it is inevitable that a new war will start drawing in not only KADEK but also all Kurds. The possibility of a Third World War is widely anticipated. Combining the facts that two Kurdish countries are targeted as two separate plans and of Turkey's involvement in the intervention, there is an increasing risk that Kurdistan will be the centre of the war. The Kurds will be faced with the stark choice of "to exist or not to exist". In order to succeed, Kurds need a strong leadership. All national forces, mainly KADEK are faced with a historic duty. I am calling on all national forces to act on a common basis.

- From KNK Information

Translation from Turkish original

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