Friday, January 04, 2008
And it was in his name artillery lit the sky on fire:
"According to the mechanisms they find appropriate."

Just in time for the de-surge, the bill for northern Iraq is coming due. Subscription-only IraqSlogger translates an Aswat al-Iraq report from Kirkuk, one of the (deep breath) oil-rich, multi-ethnic and fiercely contested northern Iraqi cities controlled by Baghdad and coveted by Erbil. The Kurdish-dominated provincial council of Kirkuk/Tammim (Kirkuk Province if you're a Kurd, Tammim Province if you're an Arab) has declared that unless a referendum on who controls the province goes forward "before the end of the fifth month of 2008," the "original residents" of Kirkuk (read: Kurds)

will have the right to decide the administrative future of their areas according to the mechanisms that they find appropriate.

In other words, by June 1 (my birthday!), one of two things happen. Either the Kurds will control Kirkuk through a referendum they've spent five years ensuring they'll win, or they will declare war, and fight until they get the city back. The Kurdish-Arab war won't just be for Kirkuk, but for other cities, like violence-heavy Mosul, as well. Lucky for us we've already won the war.

--Spencer Ackerman