The following is a reprint of the article I wrote for this week about Kurdistan for Global Voices. I plan on posting most of these here as they fit within the purpose of this new blog.
Welcome back to the Kurdish Blogosphere!
Originally announced on the Kurdistan Bloggers Union was the creation of the Kurdistan Blog Count this week. Modeled loosely after the Iraq Blog Count, it intends to monitor and catalog the Kurdistan blogs out there in the world wide web. Other items announced on the Kurdistan Bloggers Union is the creation of a new KBU badge available for download.
Charles from the Is-Ought Problem has an excellent post about what happens when you use the “wrong” term in reporting about Kurdistan. The topic of Kurdistan in general is sensitive to say the least, and critisim about terminology used is given from all sides of the movement. As subject to this critisim often as your weekly author, I have come to the conclusion that if I anger someone, I anger them, but I try not too. Objectivity in this topic comes at a price, and with the excellent work that we have seen in the two-three weeks on this particular blog, I hope that Mr. Chapman does not give up his quest.
In honor of Human Rights Day, Bleak Blogorrhea gives us a link to a report done about the Human Rights violations in Eastern Kurdistan (Western Iraq). The report was submitted by the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, which nicely has their website translated into English if you are interested in reading the report.
Roj Bash! posts about a purported dispute between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Amnesty International, they promise a more detailed analysis on the subject soon.
Vladimir From Holland to Kurdistan has reports about the upcoming Iraqi elections. The first is an article from Ara Alan on why he is voting for 730. The second is a report about the Kurdish expat voing in Holland.
Rasti is a relatively new Kurdish blog. The author has been quite proliferic with his writing since he began to write. He has an interesting commentary on the state of the PKK in Turkey at the moment, and how no matter what is done the Kurdish Question in Turkey will always be tied to the PKK. He also has some very cogent analysis on the history of the PKK involvement in Turkey.
Pearls of Iraq posts about Islamic peacebuilding programs in Iraq and types about the rural building being done in the small town of Kalar in Northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan).
The last two bloggers on our list for this week have something in common, they are both giving detailed information about the upcoming Iraqi elections on December 15th (tomorrow!): Hiwa Hopes and the Iraqi Vote. Either later this evening or tomorrow at the lastest you can expect an detailed analysis of the Iraqi elections from the bloggers persceptives. Hiwa has been covering the elections from a Kurdish Iraqi POV, from party manifestos to allegations of who will be and will not be allowed to vote. The Iraqi Vote‘s coverage is a bit more holistic, and for the purposes of the post on the Iraqi elections, we will be drawing heavily from the information from that particular blog. The Iraqi Vote poignantly addresses the importance of the upcoming elections:
On December 15, 2005, the people of Iraq will vote for the first, permanent, democratically-elected government ever. This government has the most grand task of completing the skeleton that we call a constitution. As a result of the October 15th vote, the constitution was passed, but what kind of a constitution is it? Almost every article in the constitution says that it will be made permanent by a law, a law that will likely be voted on by the next government and the next government will be formed as a result of a general election due in only six days.
It is possible that this election will be the last one that matters because Iraq is likely to become a decentralized, federal state in which regional politics will be far more important than national politics. This fact is already evident in the absence of one of Iraq’s most powerful politicians, Mr. Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
In the next four years, Iraqi politics is likely to shift from a national to a regional focus where elections in the regions would become more important than the national elections. However, that remains to be determined and it is wholly dependent on the results of next Thursday’s vote.