Tom Friedman talks about how well things are going in Iraqi Kurdistan. It sounds as if the Kurds have long been one of the motivations for the Iraq war. Bush 1 basically abandoned them to Saddam’s treachery after the first Iraq war. Then according to one of the Iraq war books —
Fiasco, Cobra II, State of Denial — a lot of the people who pushed for the war liked, visited, and helped the Kurds, including Wolfowitz, some of the military men, and Jay Garner, who was originally designated for the job to head the Iraq occupation that Jerry Bremer ended up getting. I don’t know exactly what the connection is, but Jews seem to like the Kurds, perhaps they see the Kurds as less threatening Muslims than the Arabs. In any case, I think the Jews that wanted the Iraq war — Wolfowitz, Perle, Adelman, Feith, Kristol, et. al — were motivated in part by their impressions of Kurds and Kurdistan. This may also include Jay Garner, who as a general before he retired had close connections with Israel, which may have been carried over to his retirement as some kind of armaments dealer. So, it’s not surprising that Tom Friedman would find Kurdistan is wonderful. Maybe it is, but Jews love of Kurds helped get us into a horrible war in the rest of Iraq.
David Brooks’ column on how the tribes are going to bring democracy to Baghdad probably has some merit. But there is also the possibility that success at the tribal level is as much about ethnic cleansing as about democracy. The test will be whether tribes from other regions, sects, etc., Kurds and Sunnis, or Sunnis and Shiites will be willing to work together. I’m not so sure. They want security for their tribes. They don’t care that much about Iraq as a country.