Sheri Laizer | Exclusive to Ekurd.net
The oil predators that betray the Kurdish nation
While a significant number of ordinary Kurds suffer terror and poverty, the KDP, PUK and their foreign partners control the lion’s share of all business and invest millions in profits for themselves and their families. Turkish capitalists control 70% of other businesses enterprises and may come to dominate the region.1
The scale of the web of relations, insider trading, nepotism, cronyism and outright corruption is astonishing to outsiders and merits hundreds of pages to detail the sleight of hand and greed 2. Such is well beyond the purpose of this study which is mainly to expose how the Kurdish business model does not benefit Kurdistan and its people but primarily the ruling families and their foreign partners.
The most influential people are those who have one hand in politics and the other in the oil and gas sector along with military and mercenary cronies. According to the IBT Times, “Executives of the oil companies that operate in the region work behind the scenes on behalf of KRG officials, but the people of the region do not receive the benefit of those connections…”3
Analyst, Kawa Hassan, for the Carnegie Middle East Center refers to a system of “sultanism” having developed with the post-2003 boom in Kurdistan observing in a paper headed Kurdistan’s Politicized Society Confronts a Sultanistic System:
“This boom transformed state-society relations. It provided the KDP and the PUK with the cash to cement patronage politics and nepotistic networks, consolidating the foundations of a sultanistic system. The region’s major political and social shifts have transformed former revolutionaries into businessmen, blurring the lines between the political and economic classes. The Barzani and Talabani families hold the most powerful positions in government and in their respective parties. The two major parties and their leaders monopolize the economy, the security services, the police, and the peshmerga (army), and they control and co-opt considerable parts of media…
“The oil revenues and investments that came into the region after 2003 helped the ruling families to enrich themselves. Other factors were also at play. Thirteen years of sanctions and fuel-smuggling operations that flourished between 1991 and 2003 provided the ruling parties and businessmen tied to them with the revenues to make investments… Kurdish leaders have also used their power to pay themselves large salaries, and, to help establish their nepotistic networks and ensure the loyalty of their cronies, they have overseen a system in which countless others are generously rewarded.” 4 The entire paper deserves close reading.
Read more: http://ekurd.net/iraqi-kurdistan-sold-2017-05-23