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tv   World Apart With Oxana Boyko  RT  September 28, 2017 2:29pm-3:01pm EDT

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seen over. these various fish to leave. moments there's no multimedia. i could introduce you eat it is home to the most drug syndicate. full of the full grown people. for nobody wants people. to be. a. little bit. must stand the government knows what they do and they do nothing.
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wrong parts of the kurdish language has many to describe the people's national aspirations but the one that was cited a lot during last weekend's independence referendum. better at cost all at jointly . how close have the iraqi kurds come to be. able to discuss that i'm now joined by brandon a professor of political science at the university of pennsylvania who's now joining us from our belts dr larry it's great to talk to you again thank you very much for your time thank you it's a pleasure to be here now. independence referendum always controversial and they
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always raise the question of their international legitimacy how likely is to kurdish vote to be recognized as the new political reality in your view i think political reality is already sinking into lots of countries the question of ultimate recognition will be much slower we know that many countries are claiming that this referendum was on lawful and unconstitutional that's untrue kurdistan's laws are recognized by iraq's constitution since one thousand nine hundred one and those laws allow the kurdistan national assembly or parliament to conduct referendums and elections the iraqi federal government has no exclusive jurisdiction over referendums so this referendum was lawful and constitutional even though of course the federal or iraqi government says otherwise it's not just the federal iraqi government we've heard loud protestations from other regional
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governments of a sizeable kurdish minorities but what surprised me the most was the some wide reaction both from russia and from the united states both have expressed concern but not as forthrightly as one may have expected how telling is does diplomatic. i think it's very important i think that the initial statement by the u.s. state department was largely backward looking though it recognized the historical relationship between the kurdish people in the united states the american position before the referendum was one which said the time is not right the implication of that was that there was some correct time and i think the american state department is adjusting to reality i think the russian government is also being prudent and cautious and both russia and the united states have wider interests the u.s. has an interest in preventing the complete meltdown of its around. policy russia
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has a strong interest in consolidating the games it made in backing the syrian government so the two superpowers have a significant interest in seeing a stable outcome to this development and recognizing it as a reality the kurdish people voted in extremely large numbers peacefully and quietly on behalf of independence now do you politically speaking i think russia is in a bind here because policy wise it is strongly against any kind of secession but the crimean referendum of two thousand and fourteen makes it harder for. you a protest against the kurdish vote but the americans are not facing such perplexity why do you thing washington is not showing more indignation very straightforwardly the kurds are america's only reliable allies in this part of the world america is waking up to the fact that the baghdad government is largely a rainy and dominate it so america's new the absurd position of backing the iranian
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government against its kurdish allies american policy has always been since two thousand and three to preserve one iraq that's not a policy that's any longer sustainable america has two options it can either coax. their respective parties into some kind of confederation or persuade baghdad to accept the reality of kurdish independence and to try and oversee or mediate negotiations well but i think at this point in time the united states is not yet ready to stated his position as you delineated it just now because you mentioned the statement by the state department before and i think it was very interesting because essentially what it essentially sad was dead washington still supports iraq's unity but it also appreciates and understands the legitimate aspirations of the iraqi kurds to me that's a norm statement indicating that perhaps publicly the united states die. doesn't
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want to take sides but i wonder if privately it is actually inside to vies to support the status of the change of status for the current simply because of what you just mentioned the increasing iranian influence and the iraqi government so the united states spent a great deal of diplomatic capital trying to pressurize the kurdistan government into delaying or not holding the referendum at all it's now except. that the referendum is taking place that's a reality that everybody has to register we have here a small people historically oppressed and exploited people who have suffered genocide chorus of assimilation ethnic expulsion which is expressed its preferences for independence in a peaceful and democratic way it will be extremely difficult for an american government to witness that movement and that people being crushed either by baghdad or by any of its neighbors so i think the americans are in a predicament i predict a very slow turnaround in american foreign policy in this area but they'll have to
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do it one way they can get out of the difficulty is to push confederation because in a confederate territorial configuration of the entire entity would remain the same even though the structure of sovereignty would be radically different professor let me ask you about the reaction of one more regional players because most countries have spoken either against the referendum or tried to like the united states but there is one country that not only supported by the also is rumored to have facilitated the vote from behind the scenes i'm talking about israel what is its interest in the kurdish affair well as far as i know israel has not yet recognized the outcome of the vote i imagine israel will polls before recognizing the independence of the kurdistan entity and in fact it there's no point in doing so until kurdistan itself declares independence and the president. tony made it very
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clear that the referendum would not immediately lead to a declaration of independence now every kurd knows and every israeli knows that there is a warm relationship between the two peoples that goes back a very long time in the one nine hundred sixty s. the kurdistan democratic party was supported both by israel and by the soviet union in its struggle with the government in baghdad there's a significant population in israel of kurds who have their origins in the kurdistan region of iraq and israel of course welcomes the prospect of another democratic ally and of course they are they regard their primary regional enemy to be iran so anything that we can zoom range an influence will be positively accepted by israel now israel has long subscribed to a policy of creating facts on the ground in the occupied territories and when i listen to the kurdish president. speak it often strikes me how often he employs
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kind of fed accompli our argumentation is that just a coincidence any of you i did the curry is indeed boring some of these really tactics i think this is a false analogy and i've never heard president barzani use the phrase creating facts on the ground what happened with regard to the disputed territories is that the federal iraqi army fled from these areas when isis assaulted the zones in two thousand and fourteen these areas were then left to the to the peshmerga who held them and then significantly in alliance with the iraqi army beat back isis out of kurdistan. now what's true is that the federal iraqi government had failed under the constitution of two thousand and seven to conduct a referendum incurred coke in the disputed territories that referendum was supposed to have been held by two thousand and seven. so what the referendum did was to
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allow the people inside these areas the right to express their preference on whether they wanted to be part of an independent kurdistan or to remain with iraq it's also important to recognize that the kurdistan government recognizes the distinction between the vote inside kurdistan that's internationally recognized and recognized by the federal government and the vote in the disputed territories it realizes that it's going to have to negotiate the status of those territories with baghdad that is not the same as using colonists or settlers to take fresh territories that never belong to you that is not what kurdistan is doing in the disputed territories but dr lee read the conduct of the kurdish. wasn't all also. amnesty international for example claimed that after the kurdish regional government to control of their disputed territories in the north it in gauged in
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their quote unquote concerted campaign to displace arab communities in northern iraq in hindsight it all looks like part of a larger pre-planned nation building campaign. didn't just randomly fall to benefit the kurds. i don't think this is an accurate account i'm afraid if we. go back to one of the first points you made you referred to amnesty international and i'm just international can only successfully work and conduct it's important mission in protecting human rights in the kurdistan region and in areas protected by the peshmerga amnesty international correct the focus is on human rights and the rights of minorities and there's a very simple test of whether kurdistan is a safe place for minorities it's the place where the refugees and the i.d.p.'s all accumulate because they know that their they will be well treated their lives will be. and their rights will be protected unlike elsewhere in iraq it's in fact
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a shocking indictment of the federal government of iraq that there are so many refugees living inside kurdistan none of whom are supplied by the resources of the federal iraqi government so i don't recognise the picture that you're painting it's not consonant with my empirical experience on the ground i would like to ask you about the question of time because the referendum was announced and delayed on several occasions and i think it's clear that the kurdish authorities were sort of angling for the most opportune politically opportune moment what do you think made september of two thousand and seventeen such a moment well the original plan was to conduct the referendum in two thousand and fourteen and what delayed that was the advent of isis the decision to hold the referendum was because the campaign against isis had been successful and the federal iraqi government had failed to do anything to rectify the very
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significant violations of the constitution most importantly in two thousand and fourteen at exactly the same time when kurdistan faced this existential crisis the baghdad government ceased to pay kurdistan its share of iraq's oil revenues and what it was doing that it continued to fund the citizens of mosul who were under the boot of isis so you had this amazing paradox that they were starving their ally of their legitimate constitutional entitlements and at the same time paying people who were in effect being taxed by isis so they chose the first moment that they had when they controlled all their own territory where the federal iraqi government would not be in a strong position to attack them to have the referendum which in their view was. the referendum was intended quite deliberately as a vote on the failure of the constitution of iraq. to be dissolved they've not
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declared independence they're open to negotiation with baghdad over borders over citizenship over assets and liabilities and if you're sure all of their neighbors turkey iraq syria and iran that they have no territorial claims on their neighbors they won't be embarking on a project of a greater kurdistan they're not a national security threat to turkey or iran the only country with which they have to negotiate a border is iraq well dr leader we have to take a very short break now but we'll be back in just a few moments statement. we cannot stop the technological revolution in the area whether with these stem cells you know the ability to grow certain or again this on the skin of a human being for computer technology in
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a general way or any other technology because it's driven by human curiosity. just manufactured to sentenced to the public will. when the ruling class is protect themselves. with the flaming. lips and be the one percent. we can all middle of the room sick. here's what people have been saying about rejected and this actually does belong on the only show i go out of my way to the times you know what it is that really packs a punch. yeah it is the john oliver of r t m. it is this. we are apparently
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better than booth and that is a anybody who never heard of love redacted the night president of the world bank very. seriously he sent us an email. welcome back to worlds apart brandon a leader a professor of political science at the university of pennsylvania dr leary you are considered one of the world's top scholars on national and ethnic conflict given the state of the middle east today how do you think a change in the kurdish state is going to a fag to regional dynamics is it likely to make things worse and much worse as so many of the opponents of this referendum have claimed i don't think there's any evidence of this so far at the the referendum was carried out to extremely
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peacefully despite many apocalyptic predictions that things would go otherwise i think the government of turkey has engaged in some bellicose rhetoric but by and large it is being restrained the iranian government has been very restrained because it knows that if it acts aggressively it in dangerous the nuclear treaty that it's made with the united states most of the aggressive noise and potential threat and actions have come from baghdad some of those sound hollow to me some of those sound constructive prime minister a body for example has indicated that he might be interested in a confidential settlement but he has argued that some of this must emerge solely out of the iraqi constitution that's not a plausible position but at least it's significant for moving on from past commitments which are much more entrenched the iraqi parliament has divided between those who say we need to punish the kurds and those who say well if we punish. the
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kurds will be punishing people including arabs who have done nothing to deserve it so i think we're beginning to see the emergence of a calmer and more rational response in the general neighborhood the fact that the kurds have no territorial claims on any of the external sovereign powers is in fact a very calming influence well if you just said that they the iraqi kurds have no extra territorial claims meaning not claiming a territory of other countries but it's quite clear that the northern territories are still disputed and they are what you were to forgetting and i think i said this before these were supposed to be resolved in the constitution the federal iraqi government agreed that these areas in principle could be decided for kurdistan through a referendum and they deliberately delayed the holding of that referendum so what they have to do now is to consider very carefully what they must do in order to satisfy reasonable demands inside these areas to be part of kurdistan not all of
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the disputed territories are going to be part of paris and there are areas like where there isn't a single person who wants to be part of kurdistan so it won't be difficult to identify the areas which need need to be resolved one of the issues that people are all was assuming that the control is about is oil and gas now in parts of kirkuk it's certainly the case that there is an ongoing agreement between the kurdistan government and the iraqi government about how to share revenues from oil from that area there's no reason in principle why that agreement couldn't continue while those two countries were sovereign countries inside a confidence or two independent countries now dr levy when you talk about their idea of confederate of state that reminds me of the commonwealth of independent states beach was created on the ruins of the former soviet you. to facilitate
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a civilized divorce rather than any lasting union of the former soviet republics i wonder if. dot could be the danger at least for the iraqi government in this idea confederation i agree entirely with you that that is the predominant use. in recent times and that indeed could be a way of achieving the civilized divorce between iraq and kurdistan but on the other hand if people fulfill their obligations in a confederate shared interests to keep them together confederations can survive the confederation of switzerland the confederation of canada are very old what keeps calling federations together is a shared military or defensive alliance and it's quite possible that with good will kurdistan and the right kind agree that they need to keep a common military alliance against the resurgence of isis and to avoid by top of their countries being deeply penetrated by their surrounding neighbors i heard you
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say that iraq's kurdistan is this sole surviving success story from the us led intervention and success was primarily due to the kurds rejecting at both american and british advise and keeping. forces autonomy as well as insisting on their own oil and gas exploration rights and i think it's hard to argue the currents have played their hand extremely cleverly but i wonder if you think they know when to stop before provoking a backlash that the may easily or raise or fold their previous games. i think they're aware of the danger that's why they're making it absolutely clear that they want to negotiate with i think you should expect before very long that the prime minister. will go to baghdad and try and talk with prime minister about the i think it will be very clear once we get the results for. in the referendum that the kurds
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will be indicating that some areas are not ones that they're going to be interested in incorporating into kurdistan on democratic grounds and on the others they will be arguing that the clear will of the people in these areas is to be part of kurdistan but they will want to have a border with iraq that is not disputed they want to have a clear boundary line that both countries can respect and that makes sense from a democratic point of view from a demographic and linguistic point of view and from a geographical and military point of view now i also heard you say that the smart thing to do for the kurds would be to publicly a recognize the territorial integrity of their neighbors primarily can syria you sounded on this program as well how likely is that and even if that political leaders make such declaration do you think it would be enough to neutralize both the pull of a nation state and the temptations of proxy politics which in this region happens to be pretty nasty so those are good questions i think if you if you heard prime
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minister bars on the statement of yesterday he already made it clear that kurdistan in iraq is no threat to the national security of turkey no threat to its territorial integrity think about it practically the kurds of iraq are a distinct people they've lived together for one hundred years they've had different institutions to their neighbors if they became part of a greater kurdistan they would be a minority inside a greater kurdistan governed by kurds who've lived inside turkey most of the people i've met don't want but what they do want to see is peaceful and democratic accommodations of the kurds inside other states and their official policy and their actual policy from here has been to avoid any support for armed revolution reactivity against any of the regimes and their neighbors and instead to promote peaceful democrat. politics inside those countries and i think we're going to see
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a continuation of that policy it's an interesting question what will happen in syria because in syria you have the outcome of a civil war which is largely being won by iran and russia and the syrian regime the syrian regime may consider the possibility for the thomas kurdistan inside syria that creates the possibility of having a neighboring autonomy assume but i think the politics of the thomason are very different to the politics here in erbil so i genuinely think i'm not saying this is some kind of public relations stunt the kurds do not have a viable project for and most of them are not seeking a greater kurdistan while at the kurds it may have a reputation for pragmatism after all again day they've played their chips very cleverly if their hour. long period of turbulence in the middle east but i'm not sure the same could be sad about other regional players turkey being one of them
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because many people doubt if president. policies really pragmatic given what is happening with them the country not only with regards to their cars but with regards to other political and religious minorities and mr adelson already used. what you suggested could be a boon for the future cooperation the export of oil and gas as a blackmail till he said that turkey may easily have caught all of the flaws of iraqi oil. and further to europe it seems that by the it comes to the kurds turkey would be veggie to shoot itself in the food or is it that is that whole just bluffing i don't think it's just bluffing i do think president earlier one is upset so the kurdistan leadership president barzani and prime minister barak zani made several efforts to engage in dialogue with mr one on this quite. i note the
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statements he's been making over the last few days i notice that they're slightly less vigorous and slightly less bellicose as the days go by he has pointed out turkey has a key which you can use to switch off the oil and gas pipeline that flows into turkey from kurdistan but he hasn't yet used that key to switch off the oil and gas everyone knows that the kurdistan region is turkey's third largest export market it's a significant player turkey wants to be a reliable energy how for europe the contracts that have been signed with the companies that export from here include provisions with turkey which obligate turkey not to switch off oil and gas for political reasons and if they did so they would then be legally liable in arbitration of course so there are things that constrain turkey's actions and i believe that over time we'll see a calmer turkish response i want to ask you one last question and this is about
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russia's interjection into the kurdish affairs because while the turks have been threatening to turn over the taps on the kurdish oil russia's largest state owned company across nafta is moving to invest into major. kurdistan's pipeline system and i think that's a very interesting given the overall nature of the russian turkish relationship which it reaches very intricate very complex but essentially it is all about trying to use economic synergy to soften obvious political disagreements do you think that kind of approach can work in the case of. i think it's a fascinating development with all sorts of implications none of which we can completely foresee the long term consequences of if the oil and gas is as i believe to be complete by russia when it comes from kurdistan and the oil and gas that's being exported from kurdistan into turkey is no longer kurdish oil. it's been so
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the the rights have been sold by kurdistan it's enjoying the royalties but it's actually russian oil and gas that would be going into turkey for export into europe and that would certainly complicate both the legal and property relationships and the engagements between russia and turkey and russia has an interest many say in being the biggest player shaping oil and gas going into europe to give russia influence over western europe so if russia has an influence here in exports of oil and gas builds a constructive relationship with turkey that would generally weaken the western position and that the fact the very fact that that's a possibility may well give poles in washington about their policy and make make them think again about whether they need to strengthen their commitment to their relationship with the kurds of iraq rather than put it all the regs in the bag in the bag basket well professor leader we have to leave adair out just for the record
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i want to stay dead at least publicly the kremlin claims that it has no intention of using its economic relations to further their political goal i hear what you say but all great powers tend to say that but it's not just great powers as we discussed all of the programs that the kurdish people have been pretty skillful at using all. means at their disposal both political and economic. interest i guess that applies to everyone else. we have to leave it there i invite out to you leave that comments now twitter you tube and facebook pages and i hope to see you again same place same time here on worlds apart.
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in america a college degree requires a great deal. of debt. studying so hard it requires trust to. go through humiliation to enter science. and. sometimes quite literally. want of the true colors of universities in the u.s. . this is a report coming to you from the aspen nexus concert with a lot more than. i can fail to warm up yourself fantastic so glorious so sunny so mountain like and you know i got to thinking of the people i really hate and none more so than jamie
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diamond twenty years but as now he came walking into walls he came tumbling in bumbling in proving himself to be an idiot savant but without the savant. in barcelona a rally against the government over attempts to quare sunday's council only an independence referendum also. very exclusive video from syria's war correspondent takes you to the heart of the decisive battle for the country's future amid claims that forces are exploiting the game. also ahead this hour to present mccall. new talks breaks for wealthy leading to protests in part.


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