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tv   Cross Talk  RT  September 29, 2017 9:29am-10:01am EDT

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hello and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle the modern international order centers on two basic principles the sanctity of sovereign borders and self-determination and this regard the kurdish question is particularly vexing and even dangerous will some thirty million kurds ever have either. talking kurdish independence i'm joined by my guest mohammad marandi in beirut he's an associate professor at the university of tehran also in beirut we have martin j. he is a freelance broadcast journalist an honorable we cross to he will he's an analyst and commentator on iraq and kurdistan region across the uk rules in effect that means he can jump in anytime you want and i always appreciate mohamed let me go to
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you first in beirut i said in my introduction the the issue of kurdish independence is very vexing and even dangerous we have a lot of countries in the neighborhood that are a staunch ally against the idea but then again the kurds by any definition of self-determination probably should get their own state here this is being stuck between a rock and a hard place go ahead mohammed in me in beirut. i think a key point that has to be remembered is that the current iraqi constitution was written. with the cooperation of the different groups in iraq including the current presidential leadership in a real and constitution accept a federal iraq and the leadership that these people right now have in be in is based on that constitution they supported the constitution they voted for the constitution and they helped write the constitution so this is
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a key point the constitution does not allow for someone to decide to have a referendum and remove parts of the country. based on their own beliefs or their own idea that they must have a separate state in addition. mr bottoms on himself he has his term in office ended in two thousand and fifteen the current kurdish parliament has more or less been dissolved for the last couple of years and the speaker of the parliament is in the ineffective exile and even the vote that they had was not valid because the only the government faction or mr baez and his faction was in parliament and there were not enough m.p.'s there there are many irregularities there weren't any credible any credible observers but the point is that there are
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differences across the region sure and if tomorrow some tribe in saudi arabia wants to switch sides and become a part of iraq or a tribal iraq wants to join syria then we're going to have a never ending game in living in and this is why i introduced a program ago to martin jay here is that if we if we do look at the same city of borders and self-determination they're not they're not mutually inclusive if you mark. but the fact is that there are political facts on the ground in kurdistan in iraq we we do know that there are a faction side of syria and also of iran and and and this is what everyone's worried about here is this cascade effect but to go back to what professor marandi had to say in beirut iraq has the constitution has today because it was illegally invaded and occupied by the united states and its allies and that constitution was not solely written by iraqis go ahead martin in beirut. well i think perhaps the borders now which were drawn up in the middle of the first world war you know
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probably starting to look that frayed a bit out of date you know i think um you know what we're what we're taking what we're looking at now i think is a crisis that's a volt in in the last few days and mr buzz on the must be looking now towards america on the west and realizing there's been duped you know and that maybe promises were assurances that he was given in the last few years when he was fighting for the for the calls to smash on terrorism both in kurdistan and well other kurdish groups in in syria which of course are apart from his groups you know they think that the americans must have been making some sort of promises some solutions along the lines of look we'll look at your independence thing but first of all let's get this terrorism fight out of the way and i think my opinion is is that this this issue is not really about borders a constitution is about promises made by the west and i think that zani is probably bitten off more than he can chew big and as for the reason why we got this crisis
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situation now ok if i go in erbil which really interesting the kind of crisis is that is developing from a western perspective middle east is that you have normally to america now is a kurdistan and iraq ok collectively one country but two different groups of people here and making promises that both this is what happens when you make promises to two different parties that don't necessarily get along go ahead. well to start or for there would just like to respond to the point about the constitution the constitution provides says very clearly that iraq is a unitary it is a voluntary union between the kurds arabs and the others and the cation of this constitution is the guarantor of the territorial integrity of iraq this is clearly stated in the preamble of the constitution the war there for. round them is mentioned three times in the constitution for other issues so the actual for and
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them is not illegal to say there are different interpretations when the constitution was written back in two thousand and five could arabs shiites sunnis or parties to power but this sunni arabs boycotted it if effectively it was a kurdish she remained and then hire them had it not been for the kurdish wrote the constitution would have collapsed the subsequent years proved that this constitution is not practical it's not a particular bill back that had its own interpretation bill had its own interpretation so as a result this attempted partnership through to govern iraq has miserably failed and this was mostly during the time of the previous government of maliki's government salaries were cut the issue of oil was not clear who should control what and who should be exported so all of these issues have brought us to this day when the
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issue of the referendum was was put forward by the by the kurdish leadership kurds was split into two camps and unlike what you would have guessed from beirut to say mr mohammad the saying could swear united on the day of referendum ninety two percent of the voters said yes' the leaders of all political parties including the change movement that's where in the opposition that were against that affair and them went for. went for the yes vote here because as a reader as a result of a sashes of this i think as i did last week this i hang on here let me go back to mohammed in beirut that this is exactly what i'm getting at mohammed is that i agree with you on the constitution i agree with all of you about the legality or illegality of this vote here and whether it should be recognized but the fact of the matter is that there are. facts on the ground and this is what the kurds are reacting to also we see the end becoming end of the war in syria also the kurds
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played a crucial role one way or another and we could talk about that another time i mean this is decision time this is that they see this as a window of opportunity and we had chuck schumer us senator i didn't know he ever talked about syria very much of the independent should be granted to curtis and curtis and i know why and we'll talk about it later and that word is israel go ahead mohammed. yes well affectively what you're a good guest has said is reinforcing what i said in fact if anyone should complain about the constitution is the sunni arabs not the kurds because they had. more than their share of representation when writing the constitution and if every time a person or a country or an organization wants to pull out of an agreement they make then this world is going to be a very much more messy place and it is today it sounds very much like what we see
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trump doing nowadays where he pulls out of the paris accord where you want to pull out of digital radio way and whenever you don't like something then you're no longer part of it that that's not something that will work and the facts on the ground is that. the iraqi country the country of iraq has a constitution it has a parliament it has a government and there are neighboring countries too that. are forced to abide by. the will of bad blood that is the law if the iranians are not in a position to go against the iraqi constitution if bad says or we are not allowed to have flights come into iraq without our authority then the iranians will not do that and i think our friends in kurdish iraq should remember that when said most at the mirror very americans who are secretly supporting this disintegration of iraq along with the israelis they should remember that when the americans were
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supporting saddam hussein and giving him chemical weapons and during the and follow operation after the two thousand and one war with iraq the americans allowed saddam hussein to use his helicopters and take back territory where two million current iraqi kurds went to iran and iran allowed all of them into the country and also when isis bought us on it we all remember when isis attacked and took most of the bodies and he did nothing. and but when i said i parked out of being in the right when the americans refused to help as i asked them five times to help and the city was on the verge of falling the iranians when i when mr bott attorney asked the iranian for help they immediately came in and general saw the money himself personally went to attribute ok to be the american let me let me go to let me go to martin here before we go to the break martin i mean did the real crux of the story is that what happened if you look at the major kurdish populations they're all very key to this if assad makes
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a deal on some kind of regional autonomy that send this sends a signal to other others in the spirit that some kind of deal could be made this is why it's so i call this the kurdish puzzle this program go ahead and before we go to the break here martin so what is new someone who just recently reached out to the kurds in northern syria and i think this is as a consequence to what's going on in neighboring kurdistan you know it makes him look as though he's he's more in control of his own country if he can be the one who brokered such a deal but that's a very dangerous precedent and i think that's what's making the iranians for a nervous at the moment is if we go ahead with these deals and we throw away constitutions and agreements have been made in history you know that that does that does start a very very dangerous precedent that we should be very wary of because we're only going to be looking at ok marty singer i've got to jump in here i have to go to a hard break gentlemen after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the kurds stay with our to.
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tomatoes that see. the market. for your money watch. the. must times the government knows what they do and they do nothing. welcome back across the uk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle truman were discussing kurdish independence. ok i'd like to go back to he well it's very interesting to me i mention senator
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chuck schumer he was the leader of the democrats in the in the u.s. senate a very powerful figure we had during the campaign donald trump's people were making some sounds about supporting kurdish independence ok now the administration seems to be waffling at this point russia has come out saying that it will speed respects the into the territorial integrity of iraq does not believe it doesn't support secessionist movements and then you have turkey. here now the u.s. is sending mixed signals the turks are certainly not sending any mixed signals here this again is part of the puzzle here. you have a very strange a ray of forces right here do the kurds have any chance whatsoever because it seems like the entire neighborhood would stamp them out in a could be very real very real military conflict could occur go ahead in erbil. look the real problem is i think america has been saying mixed signals when the says we are against the day after the referendum that said that we will still deal
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with the iraqi kurdistan and with a.r.g. the real problem here is the neighbors i think as your guest from iran said mr mohammad he said that two million kurds went to iran they are the question now i think raised with them do they want another two million kurds again this at this time of the of the of of the middle east to to go to turkey and to iran almost i think they will go to turkey for that matter if a military if military action has started against the iraqi kurdistan just for going to the ballots and saying yes or no i think there is an on justified fear of that vote the vote though it says it is for an independent kurdistan it should be seen as a vote to say no to to do with iraq has been government iraq has proved over the past one hundred years the only way to hold it together is with unfired and with
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chemical weapons and with dictatorship a country like this cannot continue forever and the people of iraqi kurdistan have opted for another option they are now saying we do not want to be part of this i think the ball is now in the iraqi government's and the bank that's court to say ok well where do we take it from there do we still neighbors when even if this is. fly and becomes independent it's not going to be taken away from the region we will still be neighbors with iran with turkey the real problem with iran and turkey is that their own could have zero rights in their countries the basic the absolute minimum basic for human rights the rights of equality rights of citizenship do not exist at all there is sheer existence could is denied is there and this is exactly why they are very. nervous about the presence
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and he could this entity in iraqi kurdistan in two thousand and three practically iraqi kurdistan was independent when the americans came and toppled the regime of saddam hussein they went to baghdad they tried to make this new country work fifteen years later it is clear now that this is not working and this is the mood of the most dysfunctional places on earth is iraq today ok and let me and then i want to i want to ask all three of the probably the most difficult question to be posed on this issue here martin i'll go to you first hear what is there what is the solution is there a solution because again as i started out the program i think all of us believe in self-determination that's why i keep it because i'm bringing up the friction i mean this is an obvious friction point here we just heard from our our colleague in erbil i mean how do you would dress that where we're stood justice as many people
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would say go ahead mark. look the referendum on its own isn't the be all and end all i mean it's just one step it's one signal i don't actually believe necessarily the barzani really wants to go the full nine yards and even take full independence be letting the price is just getting high for you know the solution really is different is a dip is a diplomatic one i mean this week has just reached out to the edwin government and ankara because he wants to start talks he wants to improve relations and make amends i think it's a really positive a very clever thing to do a smaller thing to done might have been to have done that much earlier on because in the last two years since two thousand and fifteen relations between zani and edibles government afraid someone but listen the solution is a diplomatic one you have to engage iran. iraq and the turks you basically need the russians to come in and korean a star or two or in a standard three you know these people go to get around the table a look at the core issue and really the truth of the matter is the core issue is
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money the core issue is of the kurdistan regional government as having real financial troubles got twenty billion dollars in debt it hasn't paid a lot of his teachers and civil servants fully in the last few years and it's it needs it needs a rescue plan of some sort and the rescue for them for barzani is cookbooks oil fields natural really that is the heart of this matter in my opinion mohamed let me go to you very well as we see western backed proxy forces dwindling in syria and it looks like there is the ray of hope that the damascus will prevail over all of syria eventually but then again there's a lot of kurds right there could a compromise about regional of atomic autonomy inside of syria be an example for what may be iraq could do with staying within the constitution and maintaining the sovereign borders that is if it's a big proviso if the turks will leave syria go ahead. well it's too early to say
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and again that's something that the syrians themselves have to decide if the syrians make a decision themselves and iran or no other country will or really are in a position to say otherwise. with regards to what you are guessing that are being said again i when he says that the kurds in iran or turkey have absolutely no right and when he speaks like that it really makes it no longer an argument because it sounds more like propaganda i think he knows quite well that that's not really the case so i don't really want to go there but i do what i do want to show you howard . when you return when we look at military action in iraq you reply i will let you know that we go ahead you know when we look at you rocky kurdistan right now there is no democracy bottas on the is the dictator. he's so he was supposed to step down two years ago the parliament has not been effective and effective parliament has been basically dissolution in more than just the last two years we have militant
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forces more so than the kurdish iraq when we look at the kurdish areas we see armed forces different armed forces controlled by different people bought us and he has his own troops we have the p k k we have the mind here taliban these forces these are different forces and they are very hostile towards one each other one another word on the koran party the taliban the taliban the party they none of them except the way in which bothers me is behaving lets look at who done when the americans for a very long time supported the breakup of sudan and they said that south sudan is going to be heaven on earth what happened did it did it and the bloodshed south sudan right now is one of the most miserable places on earth so at the end of the day the problems in iraq have to be solved within the framework of the iraqi constitution and the parties themselves have to sit down and sort the problem. when
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people like the yahoo get involved especially when isis is being defeated yet isis and other extremists. were used by western powers regional powers to destroy this region and as soon as we see that those are beginning to collapse those projects now we see another. problem potential problem on the horizon where netanyahu and elements within the united states of the deep state of the united states are supporting so again the rock has a constitution the kurds the arabs all of them voted upon it and they have to sort out a long term so let me let me go to erbil going he would you want to respond to what mama had to say in beirut go ahead. well to be honest again i'm in the you're saying that i'm making progress in there but to speak of there's no democracy in the iraqi kurdistan and full democracy in iran this is very interesting i think we should i will i will leave that there but when think i can tell you the there are fanatical yes these we do have
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a number today this is ninety two that says ninety two percent of the vote of the people have said yes the this picture that you painted of iraqi kurdistan with armed forces even there let me tell you one thing if the viewers don't know all of these forces are now on the front of the land grab the fighting isis with the iraqi army alone alongside the iraqi army they are together fighting isis the issues of land grab that you are talking about these are areas that were evacuated by the iraqi army when ice is attacked they were jointly controlled by they could wish to smuggle forces on the iraqi army during the government of fewer friend mr maliki when isis came and took over three divisions of the iraqi army through their clue prime minister ismail advising back to to their areas so no no i'm talking about maliki i'm talking about when isis attacked when maliki was was and we're talking about are now and have i divisions of the iraqi army when they left these areas
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today mr led by these a very wise man if the if he is looking for a solution i can tell you that but there are people who are upping the ante they are trying to corner him into a position of war and they are serious attempts to undermine him by his own people by parties within the shiite camp and they are the ones who are backed by iran and for actually medium and i mean certainly gentlemen really rather than the leader i am tired of the rapidly run out of time i want to go to martin in beirut here let's go first circle full circle here martin you mention sykes because which i think is very very interesting one. hundred and one years ago is that unraveling in for our viewers that was the the french and the british completely rewriting the entire sovereign geography of the middle east one hundred one years old is it unraveling and what does it mean you got thirty seconds sorry my friend go and
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really i really hope it isn't on wrestling you know i mean what we haven't discussed in the show and on just choppin as quickly as i can is the israeli threat you know the israelis looking now that kurdistan is salivating looking at this country and thinking can we take this country into a fold and this is what we need to avoid it will cost because that would just be a godsend to the israelis and that would create further division and further chaos and bloodshed in the middle east so let's hope that these people can get around the table and can find a solution soon because the israelis really are looking at couldst on now and thinking of it as a new front well they had someone on that point i'm glad you mention him are because it's the only country that was actually very much for the referendum vote ok many thanks to my guests in beirut and in erbil and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t.c. you next time and remember rostock rules.
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twitter releases confidential information about how much this channel spends on ads with the social network as part of a report on alleged russian meddling and the u.s. election. with you it's published as an e-mail exchange between hillary clinton's campaign chief and a facebook official allegedly pledged to support in the two thousand and sixteen u.s. presidential election look. spain's catalonia is supposed to vote on independence from madrid with the authorities increasing pressure by moving in thousands of police to the region un human rights experts are voicing their concerns.


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