Saturday, August 13, 2005


By Georgie Anne Geyer
Fri Aug 12, 6:21 PM ET
Today, Kirkuk, with its 850,000 people, like all of Iraq has supposedly been "liberated" by the American invasion. Has wealthy Kirkuk found its place in the sun? When the congressionally mandated U.S. Institute of Peace held a seminar this week on "Kirkuk: Can It Be Solved?" I sat in on the discussion, and soon enough, all the same nagging questions were posed.
"Is it to be the next capital of Kurdistan?" Judith Yaphe, senior fellow at the National Defense University, asked. "Is it the key to the Baghdad government, or a Gordian knot that they will have to untie? Whose city is it? Whose historic claims have more legitimacy? What if the Kurds expand to take Kirkuk? How do you buy civil peace -- with money, with ethnic cleansing, with sharing resources? How do we get beyond those issues to truth and reconciliation?"