Israel and the Peshmerga

October 24th, 2006 1:21 PM
Like many who heavily invest themselves in staying current on national and international news, I can never understand why the traditional media fails to address some serious topics. For example, why do we never hear about Israel and the Peshmerga?

The Peshmerga, for those who have not closely followed reports on Iraq, are a military force of an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 Kurdish troops. They make up the defensive structure of northern Iraq, or what some call Kurdistan. They also keep a tight security cap on the region, which is said to be the calmest area of that country.

Online publications such as the BBC News in its Newsnight e-zine wrote about these soldiers extensively on September 20, 2006, reporting “When the former Israeli special forces soldiers were sent to Iraq in 2004 they were told they would be disowned if discovered. Their role there was to train two groups of Kurdish troops.” The report went on to explain that one group of Pershmerga fighters were being trained to secure and defend the new Hawler International Airport near Erbil, while the other group was being trained for “special assignments”.

It could be argued that one of those “special assignments” was the capture of the terrorist Abu Qudama, who was seized by Kurdish troops on May 20, 2006, after a firefight north of Baghdad. Abu Qudama is an admitted participant in the bombing of the Golden Dome, a most holy Shiite mosque earlier this year.

The fact that a strong Israeli-Kurdish alliance exists was reported on in the June 28, 2004 issue of New Yorker Magazine. Seymour Hersh writing for that publication noted the Israelis had moved into northern Iraq to establish an outpost from which its warplanes could strike at Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities.

Says Hersh, “Israeli involvement in Kurdistan is not new. Throughout the nineteen sixties and seventies, Israel actively supported a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq, as part of its strategic policy of seeking alliances with non-Arabs in the Middle East.”

Another online publication, the Welch, in June 2004 claimed, “This war was always about enhancing Israel’s strategic position and nothing else: not oil, not democracy, not WMD. The goal was to extend Israel’s sphere of influence, and that is precisely what is occurring.”

So, if that was the conclusion made by New Yorker and numerous online e-zines as far back as 2004, why do we hear nothing about those observations from the major television networks, the cable news outlets and traditional print publications? Could it be that the Israel Lobby is so powerful in the United States that it can intimidate our government and cow the media?

When it comes to Mainstreet America the fact that top “former” Israeli special forces troops are training the Peshmerga to defend what might be an advance Israeli airbase and special operations units seems to be a rare flash of good news. Supporters of the move for a secure Middle East know that in those countries only strength is respected...and they also know that Israel never backs down from a fight. Add into that mix the strong willed Kurdish fighters and the combination is something that should gain everyone’s attention. So where is the American press?