Winning: Iraq The Ancient Punching Bag

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February 1, 2012: Iraq recently complained to Iran and Turkey about not respecting Iraq's sovereignty. This time it was not just another complaint about Turkish and Iranian incursions into northern Kurdish territory (controlled by an autonomous Kurdish that mainly pays lip-service to being part of Iraq). No, this time the Iraqis were upset about a casual remark by the Iranian head of the Quds (overseas terrorism and political manipulation) Force, who asserted that Iranian backed militias controlled southern Lebanon (Hezbollah) and southern Iraq (several much smaller militias that once had considerable control). The Iranian government quickly apologized for the Quds commander's remark.

The Turks have not been apologetic about their more frequent (than the Iranians) incursions into northern Iraq. The Kurdish government up there doesn't complain much, mainly because the Kurds admit that Kurdish separatist terrorists (the PKK) from Turkey have bases in Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds refuse to go after the PKK because the PKK are fighting to establish a Kurdish state. This would be made up of Kurdish majority areas in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. None of these countries are willing to give up any of their territory for a new Kurdistan. But Kurdistan is a very popular goal with most Kurds.

The Iraqis have another reason to object to any claims or incursions on their territory. For thousands of years that's what Iraq's neighbors did. Most of modern Iraq (the central and southern portions) was constantly fought over by the Iranians (formerly known as the Persians) from the east and a long list (Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, Britons) of invaders from the north, south, and west. Most of the time the Iranians were victorious but for the last few centuries the Turks were in control. In 1918, the British moved in for two decades, and then declared "Iraq" independent and left. But there remained some ancient, and very real, fears of yet another invasion.

 

 


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