50 Years of Winning did not Bring Peace
Winning a War in Disputed Areas is Easier than Achieving Peace

March 6, 2018 at 11:40 pm

Dancing of different nationalities and religions in Arafa/ Kirkuk, photo: Karwan Salihi / KirkukNow

*Sangar Rasul

On a hot summer day in July 1967, when Levi Eshkol was Israel’s Prime Minister, he commented about the Jerusalem victory: “We won a good dowry, but with an unhappy bride”. 50 years later, the PM’s comment came true; Israel won the war, but didn’t achieve peace!

In every disputed area like Israel and Jerusalem, Kurds and Arabs, or Turks and Kurds, winning the wars never brings peace no matter who is winning. Israel achieved the greatest victory in 1967, the soldiers were singing: “One day the soldiers will throw away their uniforms”, killing this song means killing hundreds of dreams about happiness, because the dream about peace never came true; not only today’s soldiers but future soldiers must still wear the uniforms.

Disputes on this planet made the world pay more than 14 trillion US dollars (12.6% of world’s GDP), which is 5 dollar’s per day for each person for a year. Meanwhile, about 11% of world’s population live under 2 dollars per day according to a report of The International Bank. Imagine how many deprived people will be saved if simply the disagreements on earth are reduced to half.

Only in 2016, ISIS violations and terrorist acts harmed Iraq by 24% GDP; Afghanistan comes in the second place after Iraq with 13% GDP damages. And the Levant area damages were more than 35 billion dollars in only three years.

In addition to the financial damages, ISIS organization had 2 billion dollars income only in Iraq and Syria, by means of collecting taxes from people and selling 75,000 barrels of oil daily. But the economy of Iraq, especially the disputed areas kept collapsing. And after being saved from ISIS grips, the residents of those areas earned nothing but destruction.

Conflicts between Turkey and the Kurds caused numerous damages from 1984 to 2016, as there have been 40 thousand victims and immigrants, more than 350 thousand families lost their homes, 2,000 PKK followers arrested without judicial warrants. And also, more than 500 billion dollars were spent by Turkey government in fighting against the Kurds.

The conflicts cannot be settled by one victory, there must be an authentic will. The damages will not only stay in the past, but they will extend to the future as well. If Israel and Palestine did not make peace, the GDP damages for Palestine will be 9.1 Billion dollars, and for Israel’s it will be 45 billion dollars by 2024. However, if they make amends, in the first 10 years of their coexistence, Israel will benefit 123 billion dollars, and Palestine will gain 50 billion dollars.

The numbers are a clear truth and a history lesson to make amends and to be persistent about finding peace and nourishing the disputed areas of Iraq. If defeating ISIS and Kurd’s withdrawal in the disputed areas is the ultimate winning for Iraq, then Iraq has to lose more and pay more taxes in order to preserve the one-sided winning that Iraq claims.

Therefore, discovering the roadmap towards winning cannot be achieved through a military success, but tangible winning is through the Rule of Law and providing a civilized peaceful life for all the nationalities together. Unjust winning and economic growth only brings another war not peace.

Attempting creating job offers, bringing the farmers back to the fields, giving the right of self-management to the disputed areas, rule of law, giving back rights to all the nationalities and components instead of increasing war budgets, is the key answer for all the disagreements.

*Expert in international communications and political economy.


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