tv Cross Talk RT September 30, 2017 12:00am-12:30am EDT
aca. twits who publishes confidential information on how much this channel spends on ads as proof of alleged russian meddling in the u.s. presidential election. comes as wiki leaks reveals twitter's rival apparently did interfere in the vote printing e-mails from a top facebook official a parent to pledge to help clinton's campaign. and spain's council lonia is poised to vote on independence from madrid but the increasing pressure on the think in thousands of police to the region un human rights experts i'm voicing it that.
i have a full news bulletin for you at the top of the next hour but right now cross talk takes up the issue of possible statehood for the middle east thirteen million kurds so with a. low in welcome to cross talk for 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.
cross 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 and honorable we crossed who he were also and he is 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 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 start surely 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 arab real and the constitution except the federal iraq and the leadership that these people right now have in the arab 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 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 this 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 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 the in the in this is why i introduced a program ago to martin jay here is that if we if we do look at the same duty of borders and self-determination they're not they're not mutually inclusive 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 the same beirut iraq has the constitution has today because it was illegally invaded in occupied by the united states and its allies and that constitution was not so we written by iraqis go ahead martin in beirut. well i think perhaps the borders now which are drawn up in the middle of the first world war you know probably starting to look that frayed a bit out of date you know i think come you know what 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 may be promises or assurances that he was given in the last few years when he was fighting for the for the calls to smush terrorism both in. other kurdish groups in in syria which of course are apart from his groups 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 i think that is probably been off more than you can chew big enough for the reason why we've got this crisis situation now ok if i go to in erbil what's really interesting that the kind of crisis is that is developing from a western perspective at least is that you have nominally two american 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 off with i would just like to respond to the point about the constitution the constitution provides says very clearly that iraq is a unitary unit it is a voluntary union between the kurds arabs and the others and the application of
this constitution is the guarantor of the territorial integrity of iraq this is clearly stated in the preamble of the constitution the warder for around them is mentioned three times in the constitution for other issues so the act of referendum is not illegal percy there are different interpretations when the constitution was written back in two thousand and five could arabs shiites sunnis all parties to power but this sunni arabs boycotted it if effectively it was a kurdish. agreement and then hire them had it not been for the kurdish vote the constitution would have collapsed the subsequent years proved that this constitution is not practical it's not up to a couple back that had its own interpretation or 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 export what so all of these issues have brought us to this day when the issue of their referendum was was put forward by the by the kurdish leadership kurds were split into two camps and unlike what you would have guessed from beirut to say mr mohammad the same. could swear united on the day of referendum ninety two percent of the voters said yes' the leaders of all political power. these including the change movement that's were in the opposition that were gays that are fair and went for went for the yes vote. as it is this is because of this i think that it got us to we hang on here let me 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 an end of the war in syria also the kurds 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 is 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 i know why and we'll talk about it later and that word is israel go ahead my homey. yes well affectively what your 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 trump doing nowadays where he pulls out of the paris accord where you want to pull out of the 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 iraq he 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 the 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 supporting saddam hussein and giving him chemical weapons and during the anfal 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 iraqi kurds went to iran and iran allowed all of them into the country and also when isis brought us on we all remember when isis attacked and took most of ours and he did nothing. and when i say i parked out of being in the right when the americans refuse 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 barton he 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 here 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 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 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 has just recently reached out to the kurds in northern syria and i think this is as a 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 certain 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 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 team. in the u.s. a child can choose an army course in school. with retired officers as teachers we don't. recruit will says. if the cadet is interested in going in the military we don't recruit ourselves. the pentagon is funding a program to boost interest in the military among teenagers. to step up to and so
that. with yourself. you can't go wrong with the military it's a great stepping stone for whatever career you want to do but some veterans are willing to tell enthusiastic children a little more they ask me call of duty is a very popular first year video game. it's played. like call of duty turn off call of duty oh yeah. for these kids to still hear. the darker side does the pentagon allow them to be told. just need more recruits. are selling you on the idea that dropping bombs brings police to the chicken hawks forcing you to fight the battles that still. produce thoughts predator tell you
that because of the public but most important. off the bad guys and tell me you are not pulling out by. the hawks that we along with all will watch. welcome back across the uk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing kurdish independence. ok i'd like to go back to erbil here well it's very interesting to me i mention senator chuck schumer who's the leader of the democrats 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 or 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 and it 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 they says we are against the day after the referendum that said that we will still deal with 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 there 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 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 the way iraq has been government iraq has proved over the past one hundred years the only way to hold it together is with iron and fire and with 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 area of land 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 in turkey is that their own could have zero rights in their countries the basic the absolute minimum basic from human rights the rights of equality rights of citizenship do not exist at all there is sheer exists. could is denied is there and this is exactly why they are very. nervous about only prez's any kurdish into t. in iraqi kurdistan in two thousand and three practically iraqi kurdistan was independent yet with the americans came and toppled the regime of saddam hussein
they went to baghdad they tried to make this new country were 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. let me say this i'm going to 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 still justice as many people would say go ahead martin look the referendum on its own isn't the be all and end all i mean is just one step is one signal i don't actually believe necessarily the barzani really wants to go the full nine yards and even take full independence building a prize is just going to be 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 anyone government in 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 korea and i start to. and 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 money the core issue is of the kurdistan regional government is having real financial troubles got twenty billion dollars in debt it hasn't paid a lot of its teachers and civil servants fully in the last few years and its 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 much in my opinion mohamed let me go to you larry as we see western backed proxy forces dwindling in syria. looks like there is the ray of hope that 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 tommy 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 of the turks will leave syria go ahead. it's too early to say 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 regard to what you are guessing that are being said again i when he says 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 soil howard well they're not when you return alone we learn our military action in iraq you reply i will let you know we are not go ahead you know when we look a little iraqi kurdistan right now there is no democracy but as i me is that. he's so he was supposed to step down two years ago the parliament has not. been ineffective and effective parliament has been basically dissolution in more than just the last two years we have militant 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 barzani has his own troops we have the p.k. k. we have the money in 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 sudan 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 people like in 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 a rock has a constitution the kurds the arabs all of them voted upon it and they have to sort out a link them so let me let me go to erbil going he would you want to respond it went home and 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 fanatic yes these we do have a number to the 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 dismiss market forces and 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 clothes prime minister ismail advising back to to their areas so none of them talking about maliki i'm talking about when i says attacked when maliki was was and when talking about now and have i divisions of the iraqi army when they left these areas today mr alibi these are 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 mean i can 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 that mean you got thirty seconds sorry my friend go and really i really hope it isn't on ruffling 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 in 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 kurdistan 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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