The Corner

Political Instability grows in Iraqi Kurdistan

The last few days have been quite extraordinary in Sulaymaniya, once the most liberal area not only of Iraq, but also Iraqi Kurdistan.

A few days ago, a group of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) members launched a movement for reform within the political party which Jalal Talabani leads.  They said they were motivated by the increasing corruption and nepotism within the PUK.

Today, word comes that there has been a Saturday night massacre, with a purge of reformers from the party.

Meanwhile, the fight between Qubad Talabany, the Kurds’ representative in Washington, and journalists grows.

Iraqi Kurdistan may have once been the most promising region in Iraq; unfortunately, its hope have apparently been mortgaged for the sake of the ruling families’ material comforts.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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