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Michael Totten has returned from a trip to Iraq, where he toured one of Saddam's torture facilities -- this one apparently specifically designed for Kurdish victims. He posts several pictures (work safe) and writes eloquently about his experiences:
Suleimaniya is the most liberal city in Iraqi Kurdistan, partly because of its long-standing and deep ties to nearby Iran, one of the most culturally liberal countries in the Middle East. The Iraqi Kurds I met who have been to Iran wanted me to know – and they want you to know, as well – that the distance between the Iranian people and their hideous regime is galactic. I heard the same refrain over and over again: "Persians are just like us." In other words, they are liberal, secular, pro-Western, and fed up with tyrants. "Iranians love America," the Kurds told me. "They have nothing to do with Ahmadinejad."
All the way back in 1973 Moula Mustafa Barzani, the famous and beloved leader of the anti-Baathist Kurdish resistance, said he wanted Iraqi Kurdistan to become the 51st American state. Nowhere did Barzani's fierce campaign resonate more deeply than it did in Suleimaniya. Suli isn't only the cultural capital of the region – its New York, if you will. It also is the capital of Kurdish nationalism. Saddam Hussein called it "The Head of the Snake."
He answered with genocide. No one in Iraq experienced the full wrath of Saddam's Black Arabism more than the Kurds. If the Kurds refused to morph themselves into loyal little Baathists, he would erase them from the face of the earth.
And as Michael's pitcures testify, he did exactly that. Read the entire essay.Sphere It View blog reactions
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