Thursday, 01.21.2016, 5:06
According to many news outlets today, the US government has declined KRG’s $2 Billion request. The Kurdistan Regional Government ( KRG) has sent a low-level delegation to Washington trying to convince the American government to help them financially in an amount of $2 Billion. Today, I read that the US has denied such request without elaborating on the reasons.
The first mistake that the KRG made was to send the KRG representative in Washington, DC, Bayan Sami AbdulRaham, that is not qualified to discuss this issue with the US government, to take the lead in negotiations.
I am very surprised that the KRG did not send a more seasoned politicians from Kurdistan for this very important mission. It is almost insulting to the US government to have such a low-level individual sent by the KRG to meet with high-level American officials (such as Senator Tim Kaine and Senator Jeff Merkley) asking for such exuberant amount. The KRG should have at least sent the new ministers of finance and the Peshmerga to hold such talks with American officials, not a representative that has been on the job for only few months!
Aside from sending someone that is not qualified to discuss this issue, I honestly think that the US has three very understandable reasons for denying such request and they are:
YES, it is the corruption that caused the US to stop helping the Kurds in may ways, including financially. Furthermore, the US has reached a point that they no longer truly care for the Kurds and the KRG! The US is well-aware of the fact that the KRG has collected over $130 Billion in revenue from Baghdad alone in the past ten years and yet, there is no electricity in Kurdistan! The mismanagement and widespread corruption is destroying Kurdistan in many levels.
In the past few years, I have published numerous articles about this subject. In my articles, I have said that the US is drifting a way from the Kurds and no longer interested in getting too involved with them since the US is well aware of the mismanagement and the rampant corruption that is causing Kurdistan’s demise. Anyone that has done work, or attempted to do work in Kurdistan, knows that no one can get anything done unless “someone” gets paid! I have many real life examples, but no need to expose it as we all know this is the fact in Kurdistan and no one can refute it.
Ironically, today I received an e-mail from a friend, a foreigner residing in Europe that has done work in Kurdistan, and he told me he is talking with the his local government about a case that involves corruption in Kurdistan. He said the person/company that is under investigation/questioning has done work in Kurdistan and has realized a huge profit in the process. As the famous proverb in America goes, “In time, the truth always comes out!”
In the past tens years, I have warned the KRG (in person, in my published writings and personal e-mails) many times about corruption and suggested they take this issue very seriously, and stop it, before it is too late. I am sad to say that the KRG never listened to my advice on this issue. Since I was involved in negotiating many different projects to implement in Kurdistan and I know how “business” in conducted, I can easily say that indeed there is huge corruption in Kurdistan.
In Kurdistan, corruption is defined as: “The cost of doing business!” and it is considered as the “norm” as it is practiced on regular basis without hesitations.
I still think it is never too late to fight and stop the corruption in Kurdistan, but the KRG leadership need to act now and prove to the world that their government is serious about tackling corruption. May be by taking such desperately needed measures/actions, western nations, including the US, will begin to help the Kurds once more as they have in the past. Until then, the KRG can surly forget about receiving any financial assistance from the US government!
Rizgar Xoshnaw, a senior Kurdish writer based in Washington, a longtime contributing writer and columnist for Ekurd.net.