Letter From Northern Iraq: Wartime Friendships
The American invasion of Iraq is a happy occasion for the country's five million Kurds, mainly because it foreshadows the removal of Saddam Hussein, who committed acts of genocide against them. But it is also welcomed because it has been accompanied by an invasion of foreign journalists-a rare sight in northern Iraq for more than a decade. For Kurdish leaders, the arrival of the world's press means that they will finally receive attention in proportion to their numbers. It has annoyed the Kurds that the dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis, a conflict that encompasses roughly eleven million people, is a preoccupation of the media, while the Kurds, who number about twenty-five million (most Kurds live in Turkey and Iran), receive only occasional notice, usually when they are being starved or gassed. Now the Kurds have stumbled on their main chance, and are pleased to be able to share with the world their wish for equality within a democratic Iraq.