“What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away”
On October 29, 2017 the Kurdish parliament convened to discuss Masoud Barzani’s letter formally announcing that he will no longer seek an extension of his overdue presidency after November 1, 2017. Analyzing the content of his letter and speech along with the events that accompanied his resignation presents another showcase of how the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) deals with the current developments in the region, and some unmistakable indicators of how it will do so in the future.
In the morning of October 15, 2017 the world watched how Iraq’s federal forces took back Kirkuk in a swift and coordinated way, continuing their advances with limited resistance to retake most of the areas outside the official borders of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) taken control by the Peshmerga in previous years.
The Kurdish referendum on September 25, 2017 created a sharp political crisis that shifted the attention of global media towards the Kurdish political narrative. In less than a month after the referendum, this narrative that seemed to a large extent coherent and unified started to fragment and witness some fundamental changes.
During discussions with well-educated and professional Iraqis I keep hearing that the cause of Iraq’s inability to assert itself internationally is because there is no serious and continuous lobbying effort by Baghdad to rally support for its causes. While I believe in the importance of lobbying and other approaches to soft power, I don’t think that it is the answer to Baghdad’s toughest problems.