The Kurdistan Regional Government web site carries a transcription of the joint press conference given by Tony Blair and the Iraqi Kurdistan President Barzani on 31st October. Tony Blair met with Masoud Barzani at Number 10 and spoke briefly to journalists afterwards. Opening statements Tony Blair: Good afternoon everyone. A very warm welcome to President Barzani. We are delighted to have you here, Sir. Thank you for everything that you are doing in Iraq at the present time. Obviously after the Constitutional Referendum the next stage is to have successful elections in December. We hope that they will be successful … Continue reading President Barzani at Downing Street
Abdullah Muhsin and Gary Kent review a history of the Stop the War movement at Democratiya and conclude that This book should include a health warning. It embraces authoritarian language with little space for dialogue or even fair debate. It is glossy, visually busy and bitty in the modern style, with coffee table production values, attractive photographs, and appalling politics. One day a decent history of the Stop the War Coalition will be written. This isn’t it.
The Guardian writer Ghaith Abdul-Ahad interviews the leader of a band of Sunni insurgents who openly defied al-Qaida in Iraq by actively supporting the referendum. He says that in the Sunni areas of Iraq, the people and the local Iraqi insurgents among them had a different view: they were eager to vote. There was a widespread sense of regret about the boycotting of the last elections, which left the parliament in Baghdad dominated by Shia and Kurdish parties – and left the Sunnis, who held the power in Saddam’s Iraq, out in the cold. The Sunnis wanted to take part … Continue reading This might just change the way things develop in Iraq
President Talabani tells Toby Harnden that Iraqis have started to hate these killers and butchers and they are isolated from the people. In certain areas, even some tribes are ready to co-operate with the government and coalition forces to fight against terrorists. British troops, he said, had helped to create such conditions for Iraqis, including Kurds, who under the federalism enshrined in the new constitution will be guaranteed regional autonomy. A country which had been a concentration camp built on top of a mass grave under Saddam was being slowly transformed. If terrorism is not controlled, it will increase and … Continue reading President Jalabani interview
The International Federation of Journalists has condemned the brutal murder of Mohammad Harun Hassan, an editor and the Executive Secretary of the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, who was gunned down by unknown attackers in Baghdad city centre.
Nick Cohen in the Observer profiles Maryam Namazie who personifies the gulf between liberal apologists and those who really want equality
The IWPR carries a wonderful photoessay on the referendum on the constitution.
The BBC reports that three offices of an Iraqi Sunni party which dropped its opposition to the new constitution have been attacked, a day before a referendum on the text. The report quotes Alaa Makki, a senior party official, saying the party would use the political process to fight terrorism and promote stability in Iraq.
Normblog carries details of the correspondence between Al Qaeda leaders over tactics and strategies in Iraq and which is also examined here
Nick Cohen in the Observer examines the liberal self-delusion on the causes of terrorism and concludes that Yet the masochism – Kill us, we deserve it – the subliminal dislike of democracy and the willingness to turn al-Qaeda into the armed wing of every fashionable campaign from sustainable tourism to the anti-war movement will in the end disgrace the liberals by making them ridiculous.