tjir6-1_2i - Book Reviews The Goat and the Butcher....

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Book Reviews The Goat and the Butcher. Nationalism and State Formation in Kurdistan Iraq since the Iraqi War by Robert Olson (Mazda Publishers: Costa Mesa, California, 2005) The Goat and the Butcher is an important work as it sheds light on and analyses the development of Kurdish nationalism in northern Iraq and Turkey and the emergence of the de facto Kurdish state in northern Iraq from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003 to the end of 2005. Even though it mainly focuses on the link between capitalism, the butcher, and nationalism, the goat, i. e. Kurdish nationalism, the book also examines Turkey’s relations with its neighbors, including Syria, Russia, Iran and Israel and explains the impact of those relations on Kurdish nationalism in Turkey as well as in northern Iraq. The book gives different reasons for the rise of Kurdish nationalism in the region. The American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the rejection of the 1 March Resolution 2003 by the Turkish Assembly appears as the main reason. The author argues that fierce Iraqi resistance to American troops and the rejection of 1 Mart Tezkeresi forced the U.S. to cooperate with Kurdish troops and peshmerga s to fight against Iraqi resistance groups. This helped Kurdish leaders to gain the upper hand in northern Iraq vis-à-vis the Turkish government. As a result of this “changed” relationship, red lines established in February 2002 in an agreement between the US and Turkey (which were: Musul and Kerkük would be occupied by the U.S. forces; not by Kurdish troops; the U.S. would not permit the PKK/Kongra-Gel to gain strength in the region etc) and other red lines determined late, have been erased or changed. The violation of the 28 February agreement between the U.S. and Turkey in which the Americans promised to provide Kurdish peshmerga with only light weapons and to collect them after the fighting was over; the 186
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capture of Kerkük by American and Kurdish forces in April 2003 and the failure of Turkish military troops to come to the aid of the Turkomans and finally the “bag affair” in July 2003 that resulted in the expulsion of 11 Turkish Special Forces personnel, were all indications of diminishing Turkish power in northern Iraq. Despite Turkey’s unhappiness with these developments, including increasing PKK terrorist attacks in Turkey, Olson argues that Turkey continued to agree to play the limited role assigned to it by Washington, i.e. contributing to the US-controlled “rebuilding” of Iraq. This included Ankara’s hesitation to take any cross-border military action against PKK/Kongra-Gel and other Kurdish groups in northern Iraq: a situation that continues to prevail as this review was written in September 2006 The author explains Turkey’s response to the above developments, and US policy in northern Iraq, with the theory of omni-balancing. According to this theory, inter-state relations
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tjir6-1_2i - Book Reviews The Goat and the Butcher....

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