Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Iraqi-Kurdish Blogosphere On Iraq's New President And Prime Minister

The Iraqi and Kurdish Bloggers have weighed
in on the new Parliamentarian Appointments
of Jalal Talibani as President and Dr.
Ibrahim al Jaafari as Prime Minister of Iraq.

And generally, they seem to be quite pleased and
happy about it, with only a few dissenting

Dr. Truth Teller, Mosul's Most Famous Blogging Oncologist and still pouting over Fallujah tells us:

The president is Dr. Jalal al Talbani. A Kurdish from Al-Sulaimaniya. He is the boss of one of the Kurdish parties, who were fighting the Iraqi government before the occupation (insurgents).
I don't have too much knowledge about him, but one thing I didn't like, before few weeks he appeared on the TV in an interview, he said about the Iraqi flag "We will not allow for the Iraqi flag to be lifted on the land of Kurdistan".
Now we will see if he allow the flag to lift over all Iraq, or not??.

The prime minister Dr. Ibrahim al Jaafari. He is a doctor , graduated from the same college as I, but one year after me. He was very good guy, polite and honest. His talk on the TV is very encouraging, he looks very calm, educated, and neutral.
He says they will chose the ministers to different ministries according to their qualification and their fitness to the position. Which exactly what every body want.

The Ever Erudite Alaa from The Mesoptamian states:

Well, I think it is well that the Kurds have insisted on the selection of Jallal Talabani to the post of president. To start with, it is a very good antidote to emotional separatist sentiments amongst the Kurds; although I am convinced that those sentiments are of impulsive rather than serious nature. It has been extremely wise that the Iraqi Alliance insisted on reaching agreement with the Kurdish faction rather than any other. Numerically, it would have been possible to get the required majority by different alignments. Any alliance against the wishes of our Iraqi Kurds would have had disastrous consequences. I suspect the wisdom of Sistani behind this. Besides, Talabani or Mam Talabani (Uncle Talabani) as he is called in Iraqi Kurdistan, is an old veteran politician of high degree of political skill and famous maneuvering ability. And, above all he has his heart absolutely in the right place. Symbolically, it is very valuable. It signals equality between all Iraqis and that any Iraqi can reach the highest office regardless of creed or race. Therefore, overall we are very pleased with this outcome and hoping that the new government (the first democratically elected one in our history) will achieve success.

Kurdo the Kurd, presents "This Is Your Life, Jalal Talabani",
a tremendous Photo Montage detailing the life
of the new Iraqi President

Kurdish Lilly gives her thoughts:

I was wondering what do most of you Kurds and non-Kurds think about him? I don't know so much about him, and I can't just blame him for not doing anything thing good for the Kurds. But I have a feeling that he's not pushing hard enough for the Kurds to gain more than what they have. I know the position in the Iraqi parliament that the Kurds are holding is a significant step for us. Many people will think we are becoming or are greedy just asking for more but I still think that the most important thing right now in Iraq for the Kurds is to push harder for something permanent and stable. The Kurds having this kind of position in Iraq is a new opportunity for the world to see how the Kurds are able to govern themselves(Kurdistan and its people), the Iraqi people and Iraq as well. But Kurds still worry about the only important issue for us. That's having a country of our own not roling a country which is not ours.

Fayrouz checks in with her

Congratulations to the Iraqi people. Jalal Talabani has become the first Kurdish president in Iraq's history (unless I missed some history lessons during school). I predicted Talabani to become the president since after the parliamentary elections. I actually wanted him to be the president.

Ibrahim Ja'afari will most likely win the prime minister post. Many people are afraid he may turn Iraq to a very conservative country. I honestly don't have those fears to an alarming level. We know the National Assembly has enough secular, Kurds and Christian members who would veto any laws that may turn Iraq into another Iran.

Nancy at Beth-Nahrain says:

So Jalal Al-Talabani was elected president of the new Iraq today (or yesterday since it is 12:12AM eastern time now)…I, personally, don't have any strong feelings towards this choice as of now. I mean I think it is great that a president was chosen from one of Iraq's minority groups-the Kurds. Also, I don't know much about Al-Talabani, but I like that he is a supporter of secular Iraq, and that put my mind at ease a little about the possibility of an Islamic government in Iraq. I guess I will have to read more about the man before I make judgments about him, but I feel like there might have been more qualified people for this position. Nonetheless, let's wait and see what he can do in his few months before the next elections in December.

Baghdad Dweller's Ladybird always brings something interesting to the table:

This is for the history only that Talabani in few occasions joined Saddam to fight against the other Kurdish fraction ”barazani” but OK he is been forgiven I guess.

After the finish of Al-Anfal military operations which Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of Kurds, an announcement on Iraqi TV stated that ”everybody raised the weapon against the Iraqi army is forgiven but not Jallal talabani” and now Talalbni take Saddam’s old Position ”the president of Iraq”.

In 2003 and just before the war Saddam sent a letter to Talabani, this is the main head lines translation.

Since long time and we heard about your flirt with the Americans and the Zionists and I said to myself maybe Jalal Talabani saw from his tactical point of view that in his benefit to carry on this flirt, but this flirt has changed right now to be a serious affair and as I heard you are opening the north Iraqi borders to the Americans and a new front against Iraqi Army and Iraqi people,
I saw it is my constitutional and moral duty to warn you that history will not be made by traitors how work with foreigners against their own people.
America and the Zionists are trying to split the country into fragments so they can hit each fragment very easy.
So I advice you not to rush cooperating with the foreigners and you approve your patriotism in fighting with your country and people against the foreigners.
God I told
God be my witness
Saddam Hussein

Talabani answered:

I wished you letter to be a message of national reconciliation; but it was only an empty threats.

Sami provides a very inciteful analysis:

This is a great day in my life, one of the days that I probably never thought would ever happen. I left work early today just so that I could see in my own eyes if it were true. Obviously the average non Kurdish Iraqi will not be too pleased with the results of today but it was an ARAB IRAQI who destroyed Iraq. When people complain that Kurds ask for a lot well we as a race have no country to call our own so there are 2 choices to assimilate us into society as equals and accept that a person of any origin, race or ethnicity can become president or prime minister OR give us our own country. We will not accept to be second class citizens and no indivuidual should ever give up their rights to be equals in their country.

The way that a lot of Arabs view Kurds is similar to the ways that the whites viewed blacks in the old days, and it will take a while to erase the racist mentality. For most Arabs they still stick to their dream of an ARAB IRAQ. Well its the Arabs doing the most killing in Iraq and in order for Iraq to be an ARAB country then the non-Arab Iraqis should be given their own state to live in and that will help them solve their sickness of not being able to comprehend the realities we live in. We will not go back to the old ways of being ruled by an iron fist and Mr.Jalal Talabani will not be the President for 30 years with his friends and family to slaughter anyone in his way. Sadly he is not a believer in the death penalty which means that Saddam Hussein might escape that punishment but I think he will change his mind on that because he doesn't want to turn the Iraqi people against him from the start.

Dilnareen at the Kurdistan Bloggers Union has reaction to Jalal Talabani's ascension to the Presidency via the BBC's "Have Your Say" section:

Here are a few ones from the english ones:

I think Talabani will do a good job as president. PUK areas of Iraq are deeply supportive of human rights and personal freedoms. Talabani will give good direction to this emerging nation.
Jeff, Sulymanya, Iraq

A pragmatic, wise, moderate and a Kurd with love for life! I wish them good life and they always will remember the people whom have made it possible.
Saeed Naeini, Phoenix AZ, USA

I am so happy that we finally have a legitimate government elected by the people, for the people and accountable to the people. This is the face of the Iraqi people to the whole world.
Nuad, Iraq

and check out these people:

A US policy of "divide and conquer". The ground is being laid for possible creation of "Kurdistan".
James, USA

It is shameful that the puppet parliament installed by the Americans chose a non-Arab to be president of an Arab country. But I am happy, as it will only hasten the demise of this un-Islamic political system.
Mahmoud abu Bakr, Dijon, France

Its the peak of ridicule that the americans can come and Occupy you Iraqi with these types people who have no link to arabism. Most of them have spent most of their lives in the USA an couldn't wait for their country to be occupied just so they can get impportant positions in their country. During Saddams time all Iraqis were blessed with security that they have all lost now. Everyday we hear stories about occupying soldiers and their iraqi traitors breaking into peoples houses for the excuse of searching for terrorists. What a joke and what follows is worse
Muhammed, Syria

Oh Uncle jalal, as our family in kurdistan like to call you, congratulations to you and us for this great achievement. May God bless you the sons of Iraq and all
of us our behind you, whether inside iraq or outside.
Ali, Sydney Australia

Congratulation Iraq, and we hope the enemies of Iraq will finally wake up to the glaring truth. If a nation wanted life, then destiny will always anwer
Jabbar Khalaf Issawi

Congratlations Israel on the the election of your collaborator as a president of Iraq. Lets wait for when the Israeli embassy will oppen up there
Majed, Baghdad

Ahmad at Iraqi Exile says:

I am not worried - and you shouldn't be - that Al Jaafari might turn Iraq into Iran, since he only has executive powers but no legislative powers; also his cabinet will have many seculars, Kurds and other minorities. I personally believe that Al Jaafari is a rational, moderate and tolerant Shia, even though he represents Al Da'awa Party which is a religious party. He is a well respected soft-spoken diplomat who might lack the charisma and the strength required for this period! But I might be proved wrong on this one.

I wish him and his cabinet the best of luck.

Omar is quite happy with the choice of Talabani as new Iraqi President:

Iraq chooses president.
This morning marked another turning point in the history of Iraq when the elected Iraqi National Assembly publicly elected and approved the new president of Iraq and his new deputies.
I personally welcome the decision of choosing Mr. Talbani for this position because this step proves again that Iraqis are willing and working hard to bridge the gap between the different components of the Iraqi nation and to overcome the differences and disputes among them.

This new formation of presidency in Iraq will certainly strengthen the unity of this nation and it prove again that Iraq is a home for all Iraqis; not only the Arabs, not only the She'at or any other single race or sect.
I would be just as happy if the president was Turkmen or Assyrian or from any other segment of the wide social spectrum of Iraq.

Personally, I think the Presidential Position is largely Ceremonial, perhaps even a Figurehead, and if they really wanted to empower the Kurds, they should have chosen Talibani Prime Minister.

But hey, maybe next Parliamentary Election Cycle. . .

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